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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  July 23, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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later, pennsylvania governor ed rendell and we discussed the case of sure sherrod fired and rehired by the u.s. agriculture department. this is "washington journal." . .
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp 2010] host: the front page of the "times" has a story, the headline, calls for worldwide tightening. public spending cuts and tax cuts should be imposed as evidence mounts of a healthy recovery.
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that comes from the european bank. mr. trichet argues that policymakers that want to prolong the stimulus are mistaken and cutting borrowing would have limbed effects on growth. the view from the europe's senior economic policymaker con trafts with continued u.s. demand for fiscal tightening to be delayed at least until 2011 and suggests there is still a little agreement over the best way to foster a strong global professor from the financial and economic crisis of the past two years. " we want to know from all of you should this government continue with tax cuts. martha, on the democratic line, you are our first phone call. go ahead. caller: no, they should not. because what the republicans are doing, they have list -- they
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want corporate and america and special interests and the wealthy. nothing goes to the middle class. that's the problem with the republicans. the middle class is getting choked out. they don't even really give unemployment. they can't even find a job. >> speaking of unemployment benefits, the president signs those into law. unemployment benefits will be expended in the long term. they will expire in november. new york, independent line. good morning. >> good morning. have a great show. i want to bring out -- i think as far as the tax cuts, i can go either way on that. i really want to bring out -- i think the key is, the spending.
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let me give you an example. president obama has his party to bail out general motors. now certainly the germans would bail out volks wagen. so he saved about maybe a couple hundred thousand jobs and an industry. now at the same time the republicans vote for 14 billion dollars for an attack submarine. they vote $14 billion for an attack submarine while the russians are melting down their submarines. if you have a problem with the republicans, and i'm an independent, if it were up to the republicans, general motors would be served. so obama deserves at least the savings of a couple hundred thousand jobs.
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donald trump said nothing is going to change in iraq and afghanistan. trillions trillions of dollars have been wasted. i think what bming should do is have -- i think what obama should do is have donald trump come to washington and give a speech to republicans. no one is more of a free market than he is. host: joe lieberman is indicating these concerned about the impact of having tax cuts to he can pire during our fragile economy. "the wall street journal" has a chart here by the numbers of what would happen if the bush tax cuts would expire, which would be at the end of this year. it shows here the current marginal rate and the percentage of filers that it would impact, and then the income range if you
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are filing jointly. if you are married and filing jointly. this is how much your tax rate would increase if all the tax cuts were allowed to expire at the end of this year. we could take a look on that a little more. frederick, maryland, luann on the republican line, thank you for calling. caller: thank you for c-span. i just want to say i hope they do not cut those tax cuts. i am so disgusted with the obama administration and the amount of money that my grandchildren right now and their children will have to pay. there is no way we're going to get out of this. we need to keep those tax cuts. i just want to say one other thing before you let me go. i notice that whenever a democrat is on talking that they get to speak longer than any other republican. but i just want to say that what is happening to our country
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money wise with the war, with everything we see going on around us, we are not going to be in america much longer, and i don't understand why people can't wake up and see that this country is going down the tubes because of all the spending. it is not republicans. don't blame the republicans. they are trying to save money not to put our children in debt, and that is exactly what is happening and it is so sad. >> listen to house speaker nancy pelosi for the rationale for letting the tax cuts expire. >> it is my understand sg that bush era tax cuts did not create jobs and they should be repealed. we should reveal middle income tax cuts. because of the middle income tax cuts that we had in a recovery act, american people paid taxes at the lowest level since the
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1950's. by the way, this gives me a chance to remind people that around $300 billion of the recovery act was tax cuts for the middle class. so i believe that the high-end tack cuts have not created jobs, they have increased the deficit and they should be repealed. >> that's house speaker nancy pelosi talking about whether or not the tax cuts put in place under president bush should expire for the wealthy. we are talking to all of you about that this morning. gilbert, democratic line, good morning. gilbert, are you with us. caller: thank you for taking my call. i just want to say that i agree with nancy plosecombri and the democrats. they should allow the tax cuts to expire, because it is the corporate people and the upper class people, they show no
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patriotism toward the status of this consumer and what we're going through. it is time for them to pay their share. i have seen our country has existed since jack kennedy. i have never seen how cold the republicans and how hard they are and selfish they are. i have never seen this in my lifetime. i don't know. if we don't try to pull together as a nation and the upper echelon pay their share like the lower people are paying. i mean, i have to pay $7,000 for the government right now in taxes that i owe and stuff. i'm just a low-middle-class person. i don't understand why other people don't want to pay their share. i don't think they should be
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entitled to have all this money while the rest of us suffer. it just don't make sense. host: first we want to focus on this headline this morning. this is the hill newspaper. rangell to go on trial. it is on many of the front pages this morning. joining us is molly hooper. molly, what do you know about the charges? >> well, that's the thing. richte now we don't know exactly what the investigative sub panel that has been looking into various charges rangel, we're not quite sure what fault they found with rangel. he has been under investigation for several charges renting a rent controled apartment for political purposes.
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he used his congressional letterhead to solicit funds for a school that was named after him. he also adjusted his disclosure filings after the fact, a big no-no, and he failed to pay taxes on a property in the caribbean. so we're not sure exactly which of those charges a four-member investigative sub panel that's been looking into the matter, we're not sure what they found fault with. and now, just when we thought this thing was going to be over, maybe, the ethics committee decided to create an adjudacatory committee which will basically review those findings and either a ask the full house to ad militia --
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admonish him or reprimand him or say, you're fine, no problem. >> there is going to be a public hearing next week. what will happen? guest: that's the interesting thing. the ethics committee makes you think there is more there than meets the eye. basically they said it is going to be an organizational meeting. that means we could see several -- you know, we'll see who gets to be empaneled on this adjudicatory committee. it doesn't mean they will disclose what the investigative panel found. that just means they are organizing. i have a feeling a lot of those meetings might be held behind closed doors. we're just not sure. >> will charlie rangel be testifying next week?
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guest: we have no idea, and he doesn't either. as a congressional reporter we've covered charlie rangel for years. for him, this is driving him -- in fact, he pretty much said yesterday when i ran into him that he's so frustrated about the whole situation because he's not really allowed to talk about it. for those of us that cover charlie rangel, we know that charlie rangel loves to talk. but he can't really talk about this in the press. host: what could happen to mr. rangel? guest: he could be rep handed -- rep ri manneded, he could be admonished. if they consider these rent apartments a gift, they could
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impose a fine. they could say you have to pay the difference between the going rate in new york -- whatever it is. after that, they could get the whole house to vote on that. they could kick him out. it just depends. host: has house speaker nancy pelosi said this means he would not be brought on as the chairman of the ways and means committee? host: not yet. this came out last night f well, yesterday at 4:00. reporters tried to ask both of them about assigning the unploim extension bill to which nancy pelosi tried to brush off the question, and rangel of course said, i look forward to answering these charges once i see what they are.
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host: molly hooper with the hill congressional reporter, thank you for your time. guest: no problem. thank you! host: democrats seem to be split over whether or not congress should extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. here's the headlines in the wall street journal. gitener -- geithner says taxes rise. should president bush's tax cuts be extended across the board for everybody? paul, you're on the air. caller: i would say no, they should not be extended. there is a big difference between what is good offer of proof wall street and what is good for the american worker.
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these tax cuts will not do any good for the american worker. unemployment is going to stay up. all these tax cuts go through. all the investment is going overseas. they are investing in emerging economy -- economies. so that's not going to create any jobs here. the investment by businesses -- now, i own stock in g.e. they are investing in a big wind general yathe rateor manufacturing plant in vietnam. and i called time-warner or a cable provider the other day, and -- for customer care, and all their customer service
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center, it was a green bay number, but i got someone in the philippines. host: better move on to tony. >> my question is, will congressmen and senators be part of the wealthy that the taxes will be raised on? host: it is for any family making more than $250,000 a year. >> well, if a congress is paid $174,000 eye year, is that all he makes or does he gectstra for being on special committees? host: they don't get extra for special committees. for what each lawmaker makes, you would have to go to some web sites that -- "roll call" i know does a story about the wealthiest lawmakers, etc.
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caller: i also think we should be drilling more oil here and that way we won't be so dependent on foreign oil. >> who do you think, barbara? should we continue the tax customer? -- tax cuts? >> i think we should not renew the tax cufments i don't think they should have been renud in 2003 with its two wars going on. i don't think the tax cuts help many people in this country. i'm really tired of hearing people say that all of this is about obama, our economy being
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about obama and the spending was created by obama. i think, you know, he doesn't have a choice at this point, and i think people need to start thinking about our country. we've got to quit thinking about ourselves and think about the good of the whole country. so no, i don't think that we need to continue the tax cuts. we need to let those go and take care of our economy. >> all right. india's deputy chairman of that government's planning commission writes a piece in the financial times this morning saying that the industrialized countries should not make cuts too soon because it could have a negative impact on those very welling countries like india. that's in the financial times, if you are interested in that. >> people who make over $250,000 a year pay probably, what, 60%
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of the tax burden in this country for federal taxes but yet they are not paying their fair share? remember when clinton increased taxes on expensive boats in the 1990's and wealthy people stopped buying them and the bolt workers lost their jobs and bill clinton turned that around real quick and repealed the tax. i don't know how nancy pelosi can't understand that if you tax people too much there are ripple effects. there are certain ways that the bush administration did unfavorably give breaks to the country, so repeal a little bit of those. host: what about capital gains and investment income. >> if someone takes a risk and makes an investment that should not be taxed the same as a given job where you knee you are going to make a stern amount of money. if you risk $1,000 on any venture, if you put money in the housing market and the house goes up, it could have gone down
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or a piece of land. so it should not be taxed the same thing as a certain paycheck at the end of the month. host: what about chedge hedge fund managers? whatever income they make should be not capital gains. they get taxed at 15% rather than the normal income tax range of around 35%. >> the industry should be totally deregulated. it is terrible that's been ignored. that doesn't impugn the rest of all high-income earners. >> good morning. >> tax breaks for rich people is like giving a fat man a piece of cake. we need to stop these tax breaks for the rich. i hope the middle class -- the middle class can create jobs. i want to create president obama for extending the unemployment
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because i know eye lot -- a lot of hard-working americans need that employment. >> let me bounce this off of you. this is "the wall street journal's" many tax revolt. they show in 2011 roughly 750,000 taxpayers will with net business income will pay the highest marginal rate of 39.6% or the neck highest barack et. that will make tens of billions of dollars unavailable to invest or hire new workers. what "the wall street journal" is arguing today, if you let these tax cuts expire, it will hit small business owners the most.
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the most successful is small business owners. what do you think of that? >> there are different types of facts. whenever somebody starts putting those numbers out there, we always have to be a little weary of where that person is coming from. >> i want obama to go ahead with his plans. let's see how it turns out. i think they have the people, the middle class -- i think they have the people's best interest at heart. i'm willing to give them a chance and see how it goes. caller: the fact is small businesses is not like they are now. i have worked since i was 14 years old, and i have never seen it this bad. where are -- i never got a job from a poor person.
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where are we going to get a job if we start making these employers pay. that's about all i have to day about that. host: paul krugman writes his piece, addicted to bush. they are arguing for bush-type poleds if they were to come back in power. he writes this "i guess it depends" -- he quotes mitch mcconnell calling the bush-era tax cuts having a vibrant impact. he said the actual record of the bush years is 2.5 years of declining ploment followed by four 1/2 years of modest job growth at a pace significantly below the eight-year average
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poisoned bill clinton. if you are interested in reading that that is from the "new york times". >> the tax cuts are where it should be. also a lot of callers called in to talk about spending with the wars and all that. he had to pay that because of bush. we have a lot of callers and they indicate that they need to look up an part -- important article from "forbes" magazine. they ranked the presidents since world war ii. everyone keeps talking about ronald reagan and all he did. he comes in fourth. the first three are clinton,
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johnson, and kennedy. so they need to start reading up on what happened. bush created three million jobs in eight years. the lowest of any president. the reason we have these deficits is the fact that ronald reagan started this by giving dax breaks to the rich. that started the -- started with reagan and that's what we're still doing now. host: from the washington times, jobless benefits extension oked. in a 252-152 vote, president obama signed that bill into law. obama also signed a bill to curb pay-out waste. fraud costs agencies $110 bell bill in 200 -- $110 billion in
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2009. >> also, an interview with timothy geithner and charlie rose. at the end of the interview, geithner says fan fan -- fanny mae and freddie mac were not dealt with here. however, said, they're next. we've had a very smart capable team of people working for six months now to look at alternative ways to reform those institutions. host: i saw my income level was in the 25% tax barack et and it is going to go up by 3%. there is no way my wife and i
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could be considered wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. i don't understand how we're included. host: your income is $250,000. caller: no, not even a third of that. but our income would put us in a 28% tax barack et. we are clearly middle class earners. we're not going to get any of this. >> so what democrats are split about is whether or not to extend the tax cuts for just the wealthy, those making $250,000. house speaker nancy pelosi said they will let taxes rise for
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wealthy americans and keep taxes in place for those that make less than $250,000. but the front page of the financial times has a piece saying that all industrial countries need to be tightening. they need to not only cut spending, by they need to raise taxes. caller: if you want to solve the problem, end the wars and curb the taxes on people that make 39%. thank you. host: next caller. caller: over 68,000' year would increase up to 28%. i am not in that barack et.
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i am one of the many unemployed. it is misleading to say that only taxes $250,000 and over would get imincreases. host: next caller. caller: i believe the bush tax cuts should be repealed, however the bigger issue is the distribution of wealth in the united states of america. 980,000 people control approximately 40 bever of the $-- 40% of the $60 trillion that exists as wealth in the united states. the problem that we're having right now is that wealth has been accumulated since ronald reagan. that wealth is so concentrated and it is fluid and it is moving
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abroad in terms of investment that we are suffering as a nation both in terms of employment, growth, our future prospects, et cetera. that concentration ever growth is the problem. what we need to do is that everybody who has net wealth, over $10 million, and that would approximate mate slightly over a million people, you simply take half of it away from them in terms of a funders tax or some form of a tax and our national debt will be eliminated. the $14 trillion in deficit will disappear. also that money will become very shrewd in the economy. money moving is a wonderful thing, but a concentration of that money in very, very few hands creates all kinds of problems.
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you see is in washington every single day. >> the "time" magazine "swamp land blog" had a piece yesterday reporting on a breakfast that the christian science monitor sponsored. house minority leader bainer -- boehner was there, and he said he would discuss this oush on whether to egs tend the bush tax cuts. caller, good morning, america. caller, good morning. caller: i totally agree with president bush's program that he had. i have been on unemployment. my ploment is out. so i'm not in that high barack et.
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-- high bracket. people can not live on unemployment their whole lives. i think our president should -- host: i want to make sure i'm understanding your point of view. people argue you need to continue with these tax cuts because small businesses will be impacted and if they have to pay more in taxes then they can't hire people and create scombrobs. is that what you are arguing? host: that's exactly right. why penalize people that have worked hard to build a business, and then they have to go out of business because they can't afford the taxes? we need the jobs. also i would like to say that i am so tired of hearing that
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everything huh happens now was president bush's fault. our president right now has put our country in dealt -- debt more than any other president in the history of our country. host: the ex-congressman tom tancredo issued an ultimatum. also i want to show you fred barnes writes about a vast left wing media conspiracy. newly released e-mails though that hundreds of them were
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actually working to promote him. caller: what we're seeing today goes back to ronald regularans. -- ronald reagan. when reagan stepped into office we were the largest creditors of the world. the leaders of the world l were all -- ronald reagan fixed that with supply-side economics. i was affected by his 1986 tax break. i looked up those tax breaks, and there is a qualifier in parentheses, always favors the wealthy. highway "you always have american enterprise interest two tute and they have theories. let's look at real life. when f.d.r. straightened it out and made the wealthy responsible for their fair share, we had
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pretty good -- we had the best economy in the world and the best middle class in the world, and didn't have all this corruption and everything. well, ronald reagan came and lowered the tax rate. i think we should go back to 50% tax rate as they were brf reagan. this entire experiment has been a dismal failure. host: les let's go to the republican line in richmond, virginia. caller: i take a whole different view of this whole thing. i tried one time to fill out my taxes, and i talked to a faction person, and i said well, how come i can't use the social security that i paid as a did he tuct ductible? >> he said, you can't do that.
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people only pay social security up to a certain amount of dollars. after that, people don't pay no more social security taxes. they already have somewhat of a tax break. my feeling is that, we kind of get bamboozled when you see all those figures. $200,000. anyone who makes under $90,000 should have a tax break, because the person that pays over $9,000, they already get a tax break because they don't have to pay social security. host: next caller. caller: i feel kind of ashamed of my fellow americans right now. it is not the people in the country, it is the government spending, it is the over-regulation, it is bush, it is obama, it is congressmen.
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it's not take from this guy and give to that guy. it is get up, get some work, have pride in what you are doing and be proud to be an american, not just class warfare and it is this guy's fault and that guy's fault. it has blown out of control. trillions trillions of dollars of my money, of my kids money is being spent and going after other people's money doesn't make sense. >> people are making the argument that we need to think of ways to combat the deficit. >> raising taxes never brought down the deficit ever. spending, spending, spending. it is too big.
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they are making tons of money. they are making more money than a person that works for a living. they spend 30 or 40 years in the government, and they come out as millionaires. that's what is unfair in this country. they are making all the rules. they are making all the moans. the big players aren't going to say, let's pay more taxes. they are going to fire you, they are going to fire me. that's not what america is all about. host: caller, good morning. caller: hi, greta. you extra beautiful today. it is hard for me to agree with anything bush did. i want to see the taxes increased to balance this
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budget. this would be one of the things we can do to recover. obviously spending cuts have to acome any that. i believe government workers are over-paid in general. the work they perform for government is maybe paid at twice had what non-government employees make. >> we are going to switch topics really soon, and we will focus on the oil and gas refinery. joining us on the phone is michael creightonton from the wall street curnl. ken feinberg who was looking at
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financial pay for those firms that received taxpayer money during the financial crisis will say what today? >> he will say some of these payments were ill-advised. these were payments made before congress put in these executive compinks compensation limits. he's going to say these payments weren't in the spirit of things. these companies are being bailed out and at the same time they are making large payments. host: how much is he talking about? guest: millions. some regional banks in there, as well. you will see -- it is a public shaming, if nothing else. host: have the banks paid back? guest: some of them have.
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the big banks have over the past year. but some haven't. one of the criticisms of the treasury is they let these firms repay too quickly, and they lost their reverage with these firms. others haven't. he can't tchand demand this money be paid back. the government can pressure these firms, and this report is a good public reppings -- relations effort. host: ken feinberg asked them to give the money back. what did he hear in response? guest: you done get the feeling that the bazz -- unless it will damage their reputation, you don't get the feeling these firms will change practice.
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you get the idea these companies adopting a rule if there is a financial crisis, they don't pay out large bonuses, which i think the public could get behind. it is whether or not firms will actually adopt that remains to be seen. host: what about congress? do they have say over this? guest: congress and the financial regulation bill that just passed did include a lot more say for sthare holders of public traded -- share holders of publicly traded companies. it is called say on pay. you get a non-binding vote on executive compensation. it is clear no one in the government, congress, the administration, really wants to take on the idea. they are careful to say, we don't want to set pay levels. we don't want to dictate those. i think it is more of a better attitude on wall street on how they compensate people.
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host: thank you very much. guest thank you. host: we'll talk next with the leader of the u.s. finance industry. we'll be right back. administration mighto become as well-kno opposition to this amendment >> as the senate prepares to
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debate the energy bill, find out about bills with c-span's video library. watch previous debate on the house and senate floor. it is all online and free. the c-span video library. it is washington your way. >> this weekend on booktv discussions by congressmen, senators, and activist. libtarne and conservative ideas.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: let's begin with talking about the difference between what refineries do and what bp was doing in the gulf of mexico so people understand the difference. guest: absolutely. first of all, thanks for having me this morning. it is a pleasure to be here. what we as domestics do, we don't produce the crude oil. we make it better.
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we make gasoline, deisel and other products that surround us in our daily lives. host: how many refineries are there in the united states right now? guest: probably 147, 148, depending on bho who is counting. those are owned by interest crated companies, independent companies, large, small, and meedyum sized. we go through the whole gamut, the biggest of the big to the smallest of the small. host: how many are we talking about? >> we're talking a low of two to 2.5 million direct jobs. ans larry to that, what we do p provide, d -- do, you're talking
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over nine and 10 millionectobs that we were directly responsible for. host: what's the impact on our economy? >> hundreds of millions of dollars. just in 200148ectust from the o and gas and refining sector of the business,r n -- $ 10 billio in federal tax were paid. host: refineries have to pay taxes? guest: sure. whether you are signing it out on the pipelinvide there are corporate taxes you have to pay. at the end of twathvideectust i the federal -s,rend ofrs.008.
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it doesn't count the taxes the employees bay. we consider ourselves -- and i think rightfully so -- we are the economicening -- economic engine that drives the economy of the united states. host: did the refining industry receive tax subs divides that the oil companies were getting for a while. >> i think it is important for people to understand, there is a major dpdiference between taxes that are in the toed that were intended to do two or twe geeti things. one, very well oil and domestic resources, two provide employment, and three, keep the economy moving forward. they have been dp ng that, and they keep us competitive with
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s oreiare s competition. and gin, compare and contrast wh a subsidy, which is a direct government subsieed that you don't pay taxes on. so again, if they mortgage the did he deduction for your taxes, is that a subsidy or a provision. >> what le.pact is the moritorim having on the refinery? guest: we are the first customer of crude oil. we have to buy crude and get crude from a varied number of sources, and naturally the gulf of mexico is a prime source. if you are not getting that froi the gulf, you will find it in other places.
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it is' misconception from many that we are so dependent on all foreign sources of fuel, of crude oil. we are relying on crude from all over the world, but you h, ke t remebuyer, crude is a global commodity. the other thing you h, ke to remebuyer, we get most of our crude from foreign yude, ò upplied right here in the westewith hems fear. whether it is in the united ò tates, canada, or mexico, that's the lion's share that we use are either home groin oral sie and our nkeepghbors. host: here's what ken salazar had to say about the moritorhat. du> i think it was important to put in place until we can monitor capeabilild, as well as oil well sponls capeability.
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hoast: why not keep a moritorham in place until you can assure safety? guest: you have to remember, my association represents the refining industry and not the crude production. but to answer your question is, we don't stop air traffic after an accident. we don't stop bugs traffic ae pr an accident. we investigate and we find out what went wrong. by anyone's calculation this is a trageeed that hsay apened in gulf. a tragedy for the whole nation, bhu many -- but for the ones who lost thkeepr lives, their -- yo hearts and prayers go out. what will happen with the moritorium? there these rigs move. will we be more dependent on
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other southe ges of crude oil f perhaps unstable regions of the wowe are ds? i want to emphasize, we are the first customer. before that gasoline or diesel gets to the pump or before those petrochemicals get turned into liast lien, those are the -- ths is sent to us fpble -- it costs us to refine the crude oil. we pay. host: i see. guest we're the first customer. we pay. the market price is what the refining industry pays. the mao uet sets the price. when there is volatility or high crude prices, we're the first e pestomer. it impacts us before it impacts the consumer at the pump or
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elsewhere. host: let's go to calls. arizona, republican linvide you are firsnsw caller: i would like to make a statement first. the statement is, i believe the president of the united states is a socialist, even thoweh he dbetwesn't want to say so. he wants to change america s undamentally. s tost: edwarim wysre g move on, because that's more of a commennsw lialler: years ago they said we were out of oil and today they have more oil than we have ever had. you guys just keep coming off of that -- they closed some of the refineries down, and that's why the price of gasoline is $3 a nd gllon, and you guys just kee coming off of this.
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the american petryle are so egrainwashed it is pathetic host: can you plane that -- explain that a little more. caller: in the 1950's they produced a newspaper, cmonl, al they had wasrs.0 years lefnsw now they come up with this oil thing. they take more cmonl out of wes virginia now than they have at any time. that's what i'm talking aare tu. the crude oil, they are out of oil, they have people believing that, and that's why gas is what it is today. s tolvet:. s tost: ok. guest: we are, again, just as much impacted by the crude oil s luctuations as consumers are. it is not any market which sets the plice for crude whiaso will
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dictate the price for fuel, but the is more or less state-o haed p l companies. independent private companies only control less than 6% of the total resouthe ges of the world crude. whereas the companies o ha the rest. when you talk about refineries being shut down, the problem is supply and demand. the problem is supply and demand. first of all, the industry has hit every industry very, very hard. so gasoline demanim diesel demand has come way, way down. secondly, the ad vent of p egio-fuels whiaso we are n opposed to, but thredoo cut into the amount of gasoline that needs to be produced.
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every individual has to be looked at as an individt isl profit or loss center. there has been a consolidation. a consolist,tion in the railrmo and steel industries simply because of scommick considerations and the fact that we're a global economy. when you spoke years ago aare t what we could do in this country, we more or less didn't have the international liompetition coming from china and india. those days are gone. we live in a glo ral economy, ad unfortunately we're in a dog s ight tomondeep our american economy moving forward. >> smath senate halts effordom o lisay a. cap and trade fails to lure broad political support. where was your few to implement
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a cap and trade type situation? guest: i think it is the position of most americans. our position is no energy bill should be approved unless it improves the lives of the american people and strengthens the demi and the -- econo mor a the person people. if it fails to pass those twe g tests on any l to mel, that wou imposeing -- the self-imposed economic sanctions here in the united states to the shear delight, in oir opinion of s orkeepare s competition, whia mentioned earlier. their economy is going to grow. we are putting sel?
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constraints on fuels, on fructs -- pro, thcts, on everything americans need in their daily lives, but we need to get , eericans out of this economic doldrums. >> that leaves the door open for liongress to regulate carare tn emissions. some in the industry aid they would rather h, ke congress do something concrete that they know about rather than leaving ãwat ll, to e.p.a. to regulate. guest: i totally agree. any greenhouse gas rfruulating s terriblutt terrible policy. i believe the e.p.a. has taken a sll,reme couht decision with a very narrow ruling and have tried to expanned it to -- expand it to encompass the whole
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clean air act. . lulu
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epa and the administration believe this is the right avenue to take. they said themselves, it is so much better to do it legislatively. but again, let's go back to what we should be doing legislatively. energy bills need to improve the lives of americans, and not force more billions and billions and billions of not so hidden taxes on them that will make us less and less competitive in the global economy. host: can you quantify how much time you have spent up on capitol hill talking to members of congress, pushing back against a capt. trade proposal? guest: if you are talking about
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hours and hours -- it is frequent. it is not just talking to members of congress. because i think we have done a better job talking to the american people and getting them to understand and getting them to see -- peel away the sound bite and actually see what is in the legislation. it is not the oil industry or any other industry that prevented the senate from passing what we think would be harmful captains -- capped and trade legislation that the american people saying, no, we do not want this. host: philip, thanks for waiting. caller: speaking of talking points, keep hearing that we did not ground all airlines when planes crashed and i got curious and i google american airlines ground planes but it not only came up with american airlines
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-- 4200 hits. i am sure a lot are repeaters. but american airlines grounded 200 flights in march of 2008 and 900 more in april of 2008 and midwest, 14 maryland-80's for wiring problems. the problem with the deep water horizon thing is it is 5,000 feet underwater. you have to shut it. what would happen if a second well set up the same way went off and started leaking again? you have to be a little bit unproven. we need the energy. we use to much. we've got to cut back. people have to relax just a little bit and let the government and industry work things out together and get it done legislatively. it is very immediate now because it is today but we can hopefully look back in a month or a year or two or five years and think, well, it was rough, and we got
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over it. host: mr. drevna. guest: the three-quarters of the end of your statement, i could not agree more. we all need to take a deep breath and where cooperatively instead of conflict and get to the root cause. but when you mention the fact that one airline shut down so many planes but the whole industry was not shut down. that was my point. i did not want to overstate that. the point is that you should not shut the whole industry down there it but you have to remember, my organization, we are manufacturers. we gathered the crude from all over the world. and we would like to gather it mostly from our sources and the united states because we think it is the path of energy security. going forward -- yes, you are absolutely right. i could not agree more. let's take a deep breath and set back and figure out what went wrong and let us make sure it does not happen again.
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but unilateral moratorium we don't believe is the right way to go. host: a tweet from one of the viewers -- this person seems to think this has an impact on local gas costs, that gascon cost more in some reason -- regions than in the city. guest: first of all, the refineries and, we don't set the prices. the market sets the prices. no more that the farmer sets the price for potatoes and tomatoes, we don't set the price for fuel. now perhaps the answer for some regional disparity in the price of gasoline and other fuels is the regulations of what kind of particular gasoline that has to be. in some regions -- like here on
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the east coast, we have to use a reformulated gasoline. it has to be for environmental regions -- reasons. it may be somewhere in the midwest or elsewhere you could continue to use conventional gasoline because their air quality status is not as severe, so congress has said, no, you only have to use certain types of gasoline. then again, it is all based on the market, it is supply and demand, where the supply is and demand is. as an industry, as a refining industry, i think we've done a tremendous job providing the american people with the fuels', these gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, that are needed. we provide it reliably and effectively that are needed to, again, keep this economic engine running. host: st. augustine, florida. mary on the republican line. caller: i think he is going a good job taken to court and i
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think they should just change awards around every time it is run out of it can go back, like what obama did the last time when they told them the moratorium stood. it is also funny that a lot of people that are for the environment -- and i know this because i have friends -- they did not stop driving their cars, they did not turn their air conditioner down. they like it cool. they like to drive around instead of riding bikes. i get tired of hearing all of these people saying we should do this but they don't do it themselves. host: ok. shville, tennessee. caller: good morning, america. i would like to rebut some of the things that mr. drevna has been saying. first off, there was a total shutdown of the airlines, it was called 9/11, the skies were
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not very friendly. and bp has not been very friendly in the gulf, you could say that. the second thing is, it is more than just supply and demand. it is also speculation in the market. people that cannot receive the crude oil that this man receives can speculate in the market. the people that should only be bidding on all i should be the persons that can refine it -- bidding on oil of the persons that can refine it. we should look forward several generations out, like the native americans. oil is a very useful commodity. it helps us to make plastics and other manufactured goods. and if we burn it all up in our automobiles we will not have it for our future generations to use. guest: i will agree that we don't -- as refiners, we don't have anything to do with the
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speculation in the market. but there is a major difference between market speculation and manipulation totally illegal. -- of course, the latter is totally illegal. it helps balance, it helps keep him volatility down to a point. if it gets out of hand like it did two summers ago. but the point about -- he made several points, but the point of about needing the oil -- we have to save the day oil for the future and for petrochemicals. unfortunately you will not have a refinery just to provide one fuel or one product. refineries take a barrel of crude oil, which is a complex mixture of compounds, and separate them out into useful products. this is what makes the refinery
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and petrochemical facilities so unique. today are the building blocks of the nation's energy and the building blocks of the nation's chemicals and all the products we use. so again, i agree with a lot of things the gentleman was saying but i think it is a little bit off to suggest that a terrible terrorist event could be equated to an accident, too, i wanted to mention that. accidents happen -- my goodness, we tried to prevent them. we have to get to the root cause. we would do would by working what words of late and not in conflict. that is in everyone's best interest. host: in response to the news that senate majority leader harry reid, the democrats will not afford a comprehensive climate and energy legislation. "the new york times" editorial. they criticized harry reid as well as president obama and a
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dozen senate democrats mainly from the south, at a later, in the midwest, who share the blame for not putting forth a comprehensive bill -- the south, appalachia and the midwest. jim, independent line. good morning. caller: thank you very much. i am naturally calling because i don't believe the moratorium has gone far enough or will go far enough. a very important point to bring up, it was lower from bp brought forward high level e-mails from email executives about a platform called bp atlanta that drill deeper than horizon and pumps more oil. we know there are systemic problems going on with the oil industry right now this -- right now. this is another disaster waiting cabin. this moratorium is not going to shut down this platform, which
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is a tremendous problem waiting to happen and we need to get these platforms shutdown so we know that they are safe and we know they will move forward. and workers who lose their jobs during that period of time needed compensated by the industry before their lack of responsibility in this as well. host: has the refinery industry asked bp to support them at all? first, let me ask you, what is this a tuition in the gulf for the refineries down there? -- t: again, we don't have not responsible for anything that happens upstream. what has happened? the whole industry is being painted with the brush. again, i don't think people understand it. the refining industry and petrochemical industry, we are many factors. we do not produce the crew. what is the impact? the impact has been devastating to the population -- not only to
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the refining industry and the work down there but the fishermen -- the refining industry in all areas. host: can you quantify? guest: which are still refining crude down in the gulf, just getting it from other places. but the question is, longer- term. but i can't emphasize enough that the whole nation is impacted by this. not just the refining industry. and whether we agree or disagree on the moratorium, that is not the part of the industry i represent. i think, to go back to what you were saying about "the new york times" if i may, for a second, if you look at those areas where "the new york times" criticizes the senators for listening to their constituents -- basically what "the new york times" is saying, don't listen to your
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constituents, listen to us. if you look of the areas of the high unemployment, to those are the areas in the midwest where unemployment is very, very high. i come from -- my background may be here in this industry but my background is steel industry, i used to work in still -- steel mills, but nothing compared to what my dad did 44 years in that same bill and i watched steel mills and pittsburgh and other areas of the country just go away and not to come back. and those were some devastating times. what "the new york times" is suggesting is that we repeat that and other people are suggesting we repeat that with the refining and petrochemical industry and the oil industry. we just believe that without a strong domestic american-made refining and petrochemical industry, that supports all of
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these jobs throughout the country, we are going to be in for some very, very difficult economic times. while the rest of the world continues to use carbon-based fuels at our expense. host: let us listen to what senate majority leader harry reid had to say about not pushing a comprehensive bill. >> we have a responsibility, not only to our constituents and our children and grandchildren, to take on the energy challenge that we have in america -- not once, not twice, but very often. many of us want to do a thorough, comprehensive bill that create jobs, breaks our addiction to foreign oil and curbs on pollution. unfortunately at this time we don't have a single republican to work with in achieving this goal. host: do you want to respond to
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that? guest: well, i will repeat what i said earlier that any energy bill that can be approved has to improve the lives of the american people and strengthen our economic and national security. what "the new york times" is calling for, what majority leader harry reid is suggesting is complete anathema to that, and the opinion of the american people. the american people do not want to be taxed, hidden or otherwise, in the midst of an economic recession that we really find ourselves in a difficulty getting out of. i would suggest that even in good times -- i mean, you could pinpoint -- you can try to pinpoint on the calendar when those words -- this would evade a terrible piece of legislation. it was just -- would be unbelievably bad if we tried to
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enact a given the current economic situation. i believe we are trying to do -- it may be a noble cause, trying to get us into a new era of energy, something different from our traditional supplies, which we are going to need. the reality is we are going to need those supplies today, tomorrow, and the foreseeable future. i think what we are trying to do it -- they are trying to do is a noble but misguided -- driving up the price of today's energy so high with the hopes that something will come around a corner the next week that will be a substitute. what they are doing is attempting to drive us to the jetsons but they will end up pushing us back to the flintstones. the american people think it is a terrible policy. i sort of find it if not frustrating, somewhat comical, don't listen to your
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constituents, listen to me. host: are you concerned at all about a lame duck session where democrats would then take up a cap -- cap-and-trade proposal? . hear rumblings? charles crunk hammer -- kra uthammer writes in his piece this morning, passing the legislation even of the electorate voted against the democratic agenda in november but going ahead in that lame- duck session after the new congress comes in, passing their agenda. guest: i never try to handicap what congress may or may not do any week, let alone, months away out in a lame-duck session. but, yes, we have to keep an eye on it. we would be concerned. but the reality is that there will be open elections. the american people are going to speak and they are going to be telling a lot of people what they expect. whether it is in a lame duck
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session or in a new session beginning in january of 2011. i still have faith -- we may have political differences but i still have faith in our elected leaders out there -- following the lead of the american people 1. host: senate majority leader harry reid laid out what could be or what will likely be and as energy legislation that will come to the floor soon. it would remove $75 billion cap on liability of oil spill retroactively to include april when the rate exploded, energy efficiency will provide rebates of the cash register for energy- saving investments for homes. he says that could create 350,000 to 400,000 jobs. converts -- promote conversion from diesel fuel to natural gas for transportation, and adds
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money to the water conservation fund which give money to federal, state, and local government to buy land, water, and what land for preservation. then i ask you about the natural gas component for that? what does that mean? guest: i believe that mr. pickens is one again attempting to get subsidies -- and these are subsidies -- not tax provisions but direct subsidies -- for conversion of diesel powered trucks that move goods across the country very efficiently, and convert those to natural gas by saying that -- we nacelles off of foreign crude oil. unfortunately again this is one of the things that the american taxpayer -- and i believe he was asking for something like $65,000 per trucker as a subsidy so they can go out and get a new
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truck -- that would cost more than that, to use natural gas. this is, in our opinion, fraught with both technical and economic consequences. host: would that hurt the refinery industry? guest: well, we sell a lot of diesel to trucks. but the problem is, not to worry about it hurting the refining industry but what will it do to the american consumer? what is that going to do for the taxpayer? what is it going to do to the cost of goods and services? is it efficient, is an affordable and reliable? yes, natural gas is reliable. no question about that. but is its best intended use in the engine of a semi? it could only be marginally economic if there is a $65,000 per shorebird tax subsidy.
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-- per truck tax subsidies but i do believe natural gas is a vital component. we should be using it in the most efficient manner possible, and putting it in trucks, i don't believe, is the most efficient manner possible. host: florida. sandy, republican line. caller: thank you. mr. drevna, why isn't your industry pushing the energy bill includes safety measures like your partners in canada do? like demanding that they already have that second safety well drilled on all of their underwater drilling? it seems so important. host: you might have missed the beginning of this interview but mr. drevna explain the the refining industry is separate from the oil and gas exploration industry. and so, you don't have an
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opinion when it comes to that. guest: no, i don't. host: we will move on. georgia, robert. independent line. caller: just misinformation because he is talking about the moratorium and how it affects the industry. and in the first place, they did not just carte blanche shut down the entire industry. what i understand, it is only 21 of the drillers that they shut down. is that correct? guest: to tell you the truth, i am not sure exactly -- the line caller: i think you do know. only 21 and there are plenty more out there still drilling. how much of the oil do we get as far as being shipped in here? the u.s. only produces 2% or 3% of the world -- of oil in the world? guest: in the world we produce more than that but for our own
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use as we produce upwards to 40% or 45% of our own oil. but again, we are the first customer. we of the first ones that receive the the crude oil from wherever it comes from. we manufacture our deep manufacture it, change it, make products americans use. whether it comes from the gulf, whether it comes from canada or somewhere else in the world. it, says the cost to buy crude oil? guest: crude-oil and is not a single item. the world price is set by the best quality crude oil available, the one that is called sweet crude. it is the lowest in sulfur and lowest in contaminants. and then you have a whole range throughout the whole -- whole world that go to the very heavy crude, contaminants and lots of sulfur.
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it really costs the lot more to process that lower quality crude and that it does the hall light -- higher quality. unfortunately, the higher- quality crudes come from some of the more unstable regions. host: what kind of quality is in the gulf of mexico? guest: it is good quality. but that, too, varies from where you are. host: does it depend on how far out? guest: no, it doesn't. it just what that particular well is comprised of. host: baltimore, maryland. bill, democratic line. caller: good morning a long time listener to "washington journal." good morning, sir. i agree that the moratorium was probably a jam too fast. they need to look a little further. item on the left a little bit but i have to tell you, just about harry reid, i think that was just him running for senate. he is running for his life. basically cap-and-trade was a
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victim of that. as to employment and your jobs on the rigs -- in the refineries, i have two cousins in texas in houston, if you are talking about job creation on the refinery site, sir, i have to correct you, they have been downsizing for years. if the refinery is hard not in the job creation business -- host: why are they downsizing? caller: automation and just the way business goes. across american industry, we have seen it. people get downsized. i just wanted to mention the truth of what happened. i would also offer that as far as the law goes an epa, you tell me you are in litigation. if the epa is not going to regulate you, would you regulate yourself? i will take my answer over the air. if the epa is not going to regulate you out at some level in some way, who is?
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we have seen the damage of what the oil companies can do but i am not saying the refineries are part and parcel but you have been in bed with the company's four years. my cousins tell me what goes on with those refineries, how people get hurt. they were taken care of, i give it to you all. in the industry they take care of those who are hurt. but let's just be fair. who is going to regulate? guest: i appreciate your comments. your second question first. when i was refering that epa should not be regulating -- which are regulated by epa on any number of friends. the point i was making it that we don't believe epa has the authority under the clean air act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. that is what we are litigating on but not other regulations on whether it is air, water, land kind of the missions.
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let me make it perfectly clear. we don't believe that use of the clean air act or any other act that was really passed back in the 1970's is applicable to the current situation with greenhouse gas emissions. that is the point i was making. the other point -- yes, all industries have been downsizing. the point i want to make their is if we continue down this path, there will be no domestic american-made refinery jobs in this country. these are good, high-paying jobs. you don't have to have a college education to get them and you still make a very good living. you can provide for your family, own a home and put your kids through school. we are proud of that fact. and you are right, we do take care of our employees because although we are a big industry, we are a community industry. our kids, their kids, their families go to the same schools, the same churches, the same little league.
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as someone gets injured or worse, it affects not only the whole industry but it really affects that community. host: monticello, new york. david, republican line. caller: good morning. as always, thank you for c-span. the phoniness of the democrats on the energy issue is illustrated by two things. the fact that 12 democrats senators are working against harry reid. it is not the republicans by harry reid can get to work with him, it is his fellow democrats from the industrial midwest, northern democrats that will not work with charlie rangel. but here locally -- age, i think you meant harry reid. caller: excuse me, harry reid. a charlie rangel is on the mind this morning. ok. yes, with harry reid. but here locally we have a
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congress man. he is against everything. he wants to decommission the nuclear power plants at indian point and his minions -- i don't know if he personally has come out against it, but his minions here, his environmentalists have come out against exploration for natural gas. here we have it. the democrats talk about natural gas and yet they will not allow exploration and drilling for it but the process called hydraulic fracturing here in bed shale belts where natural gas is plentiful, and they won't allow it to be explored for and drill the floor and brought to market. so again, we see that to face -- two-facedness illustrated by
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those two points. host: david mention charlie rangel. the reason why he was on his mind because it is the front page of many newspapers, that charlie rangel faces ethics charges. there is going to be a public hearing next week. back to energy legislation and david's comments. guest: i understand the frustration. because what we have seen -- it is almost like a triangulation. we want to get off of our reliance on foreign sources of energy. but we don't want to increase our own supplies of energy -- whether it -- whether it is on shore, offshore, no clear, cold, if it is a fossil fuel, whenever. so they want to come up with these magic bullets, wave of the wind on the new energy source. what we are doing with the
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moratorium -- whether the one currently because of the disaster or the one we have been living with for 35 years off the east and west coast, those, by definition, make us go out and get energy supplies from foreign sources. so, we have this continue trying pullback in fourth. at the end of the day, it is a the economy and american people that end up suffering. host: one last phone call, mr. drevna. bob, independent line. caller: i would like to thank you for c-span. you'd give all of the alternate views. but this entire spill, i have been following it, we all entertain hypothetical but what if another spill happen simultaneously with this one? what affect would that had in the gulf? not to mention, with regard to the conference, the east coast of the united states and how much damage would that do to the
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ies would be econom affected. guest: again, that would be a disaster. we try not to deal in a hypothetical but deal with what we have today. again, whether it is in the gulf or off the shores of the east or west coast, a refinery or anywhere, we have to make sure they in and day out that we are operating our facilities as a fully and efficiently as possible and we don't do that through confrontation. we don't do that by countering press releases but we do it through cooperation. that is what we tried to do in a refining -- refining industry. working with unions, contracts, and surrounding unions. it's good charles drevna, thank you for being on "washington journal." guest: a pleasure to be here. host: we will switch to jobs in
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the economy. ed rendell, governor of pennsylvania will join us in a few minutes. >> here in washington, here the headlines. tropical storm bonn is putting a temporary halt to the oil cleanup in the gulf of mexico. ships are around the site have been ordered to evacuate and head of bonnie's expected arrival this weekend. engineers are confident enough of the strength of the cap covering the well that they are leaving the well sealed for now. north korea is threatening the u.s. and south korea with what it calls "a physical response" if the u.s. and the south going ahead with joint naval exercises this weekend. north korea delivered the threat today that a security forum in vietnam. house democrats face little choice but to draw more than $20 billion in domestic spending from an must-pass bill funding the president's troop surge in afghanistan. that is because yesterday the senate rejected a house measure by a 46-51 vote.
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a short of a majority pretty much less the 60 votes required to defeat a filibuster. jay tea party candidate from florida will be getting help from the u.s. chain -- a tea party candidate from florida will be getting help from the u.s. chamber of congress. it is announced it is itmarco rubio for senate. the chamber has some $75 million to spend on political campaigns this fall. finally, europe is facing another moment of truth in it -- truth and its debt crisis as regulators released the results of the stress tests on over 90 banks across the continent. the hope is that the operation will help shore up confidence. but experts are fearing any bad news could hurt the markets again. and those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> here is a look at some of other programming coming up today on the c-span networks. this morning, house majority
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leader stanley weir would talk about the economy and job creation. he will be at the american enterprise the two. you can see that live on c-span starting at 11:15 eastern. also discussion on how the stimulus package is affecting private spending. that is also at the american enterprise institute. coverage of that starts at 12:30 p.m. eastern and you can see that -- see that on c-span freak. "washington journal" continues. host: joining us from the capital of pennsylvania is gov. ed rendell, a democrat, from harrisburg. i just want to read a little bit from "the new york times" this morning about something that happened in the senate last night. it said the senate rejected a house version of an emergency spending bill that also contain billions of dollars for domestic programs, including $10 billion to help states and local school districts avert teacher layoffs. what is the impact in pennsylvania? guest: a double impact.
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not only that money but the money the president has proposed. and interestingly, the senate passed once and house passed ones for expansion of the stimulus aid for increased medicaid funding. that has not been approved in one bill. the combined impact will mean hundreds of thousands of layoffs in 30 states which counted on that that money for budgeting purposes. we counted on it because, as i said, each chamber had passed it in a separate bill and the president was for it and now it looks like the political and ideological battles in washington are not going to make that funding come through, and in fact -- if that is the case in pennsylvania we may have to lay off between 10,000 and 20,000 workers. state workers and teachers and because we have to give less money to the county's, that will mean police and firemen and emergency workers and caseworkers. it is a disastrous step, especially now when our economy is showing signs of recovering.
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pennsylvania has gained over 60,000 private-sector jobs in the last four months, i think second only to texas in job growth. for us to lose 10, 15 + thousand jobs all at once is just extraordinarily counterproductive and shortsighted. host: what is the unemployment rate in pennsylvania? you come with a lower -- guest: we are lower than the national average, 9.2, we have been lower since the recession started. we have a thing perhaps the strongest economy than any large industrial state but it is still a very difficult situation. host: what is the impact of the stimulus bill put into law after the crisis? guest: significant. particularly in the field of infrastructure. between transportation infrastructure -- bridges, roads, highways, mass transit, water and sewer, we had about $1.5 billion that have gone into the economy and create tens of thousands of good paying jobs not only on the construction
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site, but back in the factories, the steel factories and concrete and asphalt throughout pennsylvania. we have seen a significant uptick in good paying family- sustaining jobs, jobs that cannot be outsourced. we have done a pretty good job -- and pat myself on the bad -- of spending the money. congressman oberstar runs the states on how quickly they put the transportation infrastructure stimulus money for use and i think we are tied with no. 1 in the country. stimulus has got a bad name with the american people, but it has worked very effectively in pennsylvania. guest: -- in-line host: you asked the federal government for more stimulus. are you beyond aid to states? are you also asking for additional around for transportation jobs, it severed? guest: i think specifically if there is another bill to help the economy, i hope that it would focus on infrastructure.
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the infrastructure part of the bill has been the most successful of all in creating good family-sustaining jobs." i remember in congress, senator boxer and senator inhofe, people on different sides of the political spectrum, they urged increasing infrastructure spending in the original stimulus bill by two or three times of what was in the bill eventually. it that would have been a good thing for the country. i would like to see a very narrow-tailored bill, much smaller than the first, but puts additional and the structure funds into the economy because, again, those are great jobs, they cannot be outsourced and they help american manufacturing. construction and manufacturing are right now the keys to this recovery, in my judgment. host: at the beginning of this you said that pennsylvania's economy has grown and created 60,000 jobs in the private sector -- guest: in the past 4 1/2 months.
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as though there are some who argue, including a harvard professor who will be in washington today at the american enterprise institute, he put out a steady in october of 2009 saying that his research shows that stimulus does not have the that the gdp that's -- keynesian economists believe it does. in fact, he thinks when the government tries to stimulate the economy by putting money into it, that it causes the private sector to take their money out, and that perhaps if there had not been stimulus, maybe the private sector would have grown beyond those 6000 jobs. guest: no offense to the professor whom i never met, but i think it is ludicrous. first of all, transportation funding in this country is 95% to 90% government funded. i would like to see more private-public partnerships.
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we should get private sector dollars into and the structure. i tried to lease the pennsylvania turnpike to the private firm of the legislature here was against it. but even if we get the private sector in, transportation funding is going to the essentials funded by government investment. it is one of the things government should be doing. senator i nhofe, certainly a deficit hawk, he said publicly in a hearing -- and i testified, that is how we became close on this issue -- he said it infrastructure spending is the second most important thing the government can do next in military spending. let me give the professor another example. we have a program at the to the endicott capital redevelopment assistance program where we give projects money that they can construct factories, laboratories, you name it. what happened in this economy, the private sector, whether it is banks or holding companies, those people are reluctant to
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take risk. but when government money comes in and takes part of the risk, it emboldens the private sector to go ahead. look, we've got government money -- would that government money we feel more secure. i think it is directly opposite what he is saying. i think when government money put -- puts money in a project it makes it less risky for the private sector to invest. host: here is what he wrote in "the wall street journal." the empirical evidence does not support the idea that spending multipliers exceed one. in fact, stimulus programs will likely raise -- by less than the increase in government spending. if our viewers are interested in hearing the presser -- professor in his own words we will be covering it live at 2:30 p.m. here on c-span. guest: i could suggest one thing. i think viewers should go to the
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pennsylvania website,, are stimulus website. you can see that at the end of june we took a snapshot of how many people were working on construction sites where the project was 100% stimulus funded and there were about 9000 pennsylvania's on the job and site. we asked all of the vendors of those projects, how many workers that had either brought back or hired a new to fulfil the stimulus contract and it was over 3000. we noticed in one month, stimulus funding had created 12,000 good paying jobs. at and those jobs or not already -- always greeted in june because projects take 16 months 18 months to fulfill. i know hard, concrete irrefutable facts that stimulus funding has created good jobs and have a ripple effect putting the indirect jobs back into factories because would you do a bridge, you need steel to repair
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and buttress the bridge and the steel comes from factories and those factories bring workers back to the bill those orders. so professor -- he could not be more wrong. no offense. i am sure he had a lot of degrees. host: louisiana. jackie on independent line. caller: thank you. just fine. i do see you a lot out there on the airwaves but it out your opinions on how things should go. can i ask a question? is there any spending at all that the democrats to not want to do? i have been voting -- i am 54 years old. i have been voting since i was 18. registered independent probably for 30 years. is there anything you all don't want to spend money on? i will take the answer over the air. -- we do not want to spend on things that don't work, programs
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-- guest: we don't want to spend on things that don't work. at bell hold pay as you go debate, interestingly, i vetoed several bills of by the legislature that were republican dominated, things not paid for. i would ask -- what was running? host: jackie. guest: when was the last time we had a balanced budget? i think it was when there was a democrat in the white house, not only balanced budget but significant surpluses because that democrat bill clinton worked with the congress and knew how to control spending. i think, jackie, it is unfair to say that. in fact, democrats have proved to be good fiscal managers and republicans, when george bush and a republican congress controlled the government proved to be reckless spenders that eliminated the surplus and jacked up the deficit to record levels. host: we asked our viewers
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earlier if congress should extend the bush tax cuts, not only for those that make less than 200 of the it thousand also for the wealthy. where do you come down on that? guest: i think those tax cuts should expire. host: across the board? guest: no, no, for people over $250,000. i love it when people say we wish we were back in ronald reagan's times. if we let the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest americans expired the tax rate would be exactly what it was under ronald reagan. right now they are paying less taxes. it is time for the tax cuts to expire. it is interesting. there is a real level of hypocrisy out there in the republican party. not all republicans, but many. they say the unemployment bill they oppose because it was not paid for and yet when we have to put extra money in the war in afghanistan, nobody in the republican party said i will not vote for because it is not paid for.
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if we extend the bush tax cuts, no one in the republican party is saying i will not vote for the extension unless we find some way to pay for it. so, pay as you go depends on what the issue is. again, not all republicans. but many. host: "the wall street journal" ways and on the debate and they say the reality is the increase in the top marginal income-tax rates higher than 41% will hit the most profitable small businesses because millions of business owners pay individual rates under subchapter-s of the code, so if you increase taxes on the wealthy it could hit small businesses in pennsylvania. guest: pennsylvania has the second lowest state income tax and the country and it affects the small businesses that are subchapter-s but that same argument was made when president clinton in 1993 passed a budget
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that raised taxes on the 2 percent wealthiest americans. that same argument was made that it would hurt small businesses and we would lose jobs. i ask you, did we lose jobs after that tax increase on the wealthiest americans? no, as i recall we gave 23 million jobs. host: pocket to gov. ed rendell of pennsylvania. oklahoma, dave, republican mike. caller: good morning. how are you this morning? gov. rendell, thank you for taking the call. you mentioned about -- a couple of things you mentioned was the last budget balance -- balanced budget under clinton. well, clinton was not responsible for the balanced budget, it was controlled -- both houses of congress were controlled by the republicans, and they were the ones that balance the budget by forcing --
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guest: i want to interrupt to say it was a combination of things. less spending, which president clinton went along with but it was also the tax increase on the wealthiest americans that generate revenue that allowed us to reduce and eliminate the deficit and reduce the surpluses as well. it was a combination. caller: but it was still the republican congress which caused the thing to be. clinton could not override -- guest: the republicans did not put up one vote in 1993 for the increase in taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of americans and that was the trigger to let us eliminate the deficit and balance the budget, so there was not republican -- one republican vote. we have to keep it in context. i give the republican congress credit for working with the present back then. i wish we would see more today. but remember, there was not one republican vote for the increase in taxes on the top 2 percent.
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host: one of your constituents to joining us from philadelphia on the democratic line. good morning. caller: yes, good morning. host: go ahead, morris. caller: yeah --good morning. host: we will come back to you but we will move on to newcastle, pennsylvania, shirley on the republican line. just a reminder that you need to turn your television down. caller: good one. i thank you for taking my call. mr. rendell, you are our governor and i do respect you as our governor. but i just want to say a few things. number one, how many years since you have been in office that there was not a balanced budget and state workers all over the state are not able to get paychecks because you did not have a budget in place and there
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was all kinds of flynn fleet excuses why there was not a budget? -- flimsy excuses why there was not a budget? guest: let me correct the colubrid every year i have been governor we have a balanced budget. we had the -- we have to by law, i believe 40 out of 50 states have a constitutional requirement. what the caller is talking about we have never, because i had a republican legislature, whenever passed it by the end of the fiscal year. we fought over many different things in the budget. last year -- not this current year -- last year it went on for 100 days, much too long, and i share some blame. we always had a balanced budget and the caller is happy to know that "the wall street journal," fiscal conservatives, found pennsylvania was only one of 10 fans -- fiscally stable state in the union and the only one in the northeast and midwest. you could be very proud of
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pennsylvania government producing a fiscally stable budget. host: let's go back to mars from philadelphia. what is your comment or question? caller: my comment is, i want to thank governor rendell for his administration and what he has been doing since he has been governor for pennsylvania. what i want to say is that, the republican party that is calling, those are calling for the republican party, i don't know why -- everything the democrats -- it is no, no, and never bring any ideas. ideas that would improve the government, they never bring anything. all that want to say is no, no. everything they say no. guest: let me say, i share some of their frustrations but it is not true for all republicans.
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for example, like i said, senator inhofe, a conservative deficit hawk and a very smart man, he and i offered this op-ed piece that this nation has to invest in infrastructure. i think this whole debate about government spending is wrong. it is not a lot of government spending or a little, it should be good, targeted, effected government spending. should we spend repairing roads, bridges, and i was? sure, we should and the name of public safety and the quality of our lives and economic competitiveness. if we don't invest in infrastructure we would be stopped. should we spend properly educating our children? yes, but we don't give school districts blank checks, but we give to programs we know work like extending kindergarten to a full day, a science show that is as important as anything we can do for a child's educational development. the key is for republicans and democrats to get off of these
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ideological barriers and to combine and spend government money on the things that we know spending can be effected live. and don't spend on things that really cannot make a difference. there is a debate -- i did not know enough about it to be involved -- but the spending we are doing in afghanistan, is that 10 years from now going to make any material difference to what happens to that part of the world for american security? we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars annually over there. we've got to find out what spending is a fact of, what spending improves the quality of lives of americans, and let us put all of this political stuff -- everyone says we can't do this because of the 2010 elections are coming around. then after the 2010 elections that are going to say, we can do this because the presidential election is going around. look, all of us are elected to govern, to move the country forward. we were not elected to protect our own jobs. until we get that added to this country is in the pits and we are not going to move forward
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until we put all of the stuff aside. so, i agree with you. there are a lot of republicans who for political reasons are just saying no to everything. no to any spending. they are not listening to common sense. granted, i know you know who david walker is of the peterson foundation. deficit hawks. david walker and pearson say, yes, we need a long-term plan to do something about our deficit and debt but at the same time we can have a short-term spending, government spending, that does generate economic growth. they are not mutually exclusive. of course, everybody knows they are right. let us get together and get it done. host: the front page of "the financial times" this morning quotes european central bank she is saying all industrialized countries need to tighten, cut back on spending and increase taxes. guest: well, i am sure it you will get agreeing the
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republicans to agree on cutting in spending but not increasing taxes. it is interesting, the caller, i think he is from -- i forget what state he was from, but he was saying it was a republican congress and not president clinton who produced the balanced budget an enemy of the deficit. it was both. it was president clinton's plan to increase taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of americans joined with the republican congress and president clinton agreeing to cut spending. those two things eliminated the deficit. you really have to do both. you have to generate more revenue and reduce spending. but at the same time, all investment cannot stop if we in the name of deficit reduction eliminate all investments in things that we need in this country. it will not matter because we will not have much of an economy left to generate the revenue we need to balance the budget. we've got to continue to invest in growth. and infrastructure is a perfect example. i was on a show with mike pence
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once, a bright and able guy, and he said was in a bar and spend, and i said how will we repair roads, bridges, and highways, and he did not have any answer because there are some ways we need to keep investing in, even as we reduce the debt and deficit. host: jacksonville, north carolina. arlene, democratic line. caller: i wanted to say this but i have to preface it first. it you came on the program and said there was a bill and it would not vote for the bill even though both sides were for this bill the in never told anybody -- but you never told anybody what was attached in this bill that made everybody change their mind about voting for this bill? you have to start off by telling us, what is attached to this
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bill? guest: that is a very good question and i am sorry that i was not clear. the senate and house of both at one point several months ago passed a bill that would extend the extra money that the states were given during stimulus to absorb their additional medicaid costs. to be an example -- >> we are anticipating 61,000 additional people who will join the role of medicaid. if we did not want them to enroll because of the cost, we are required by law to enroll them if they're eligible -- the 61,000. the president suggested, and the senate and house passed legislation that would have given the state's the additional extra money they got during the stimulus -- extended that throughout this entire fiscal year. but they passed it in different pieces of legislation. now, with the election nearing, it has become a political football.
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the republicans say, we do not want to give that money to the states for the medicaid funding unless it is paid for, because we cannot add to the deficit. democrats say, this is like a war in afghanistan. it is an emergency situation. we're going to lose jobs if we do not add that money to the deficit. we cannot pay for it now, but it is an emergency, just like funding for the war. they cannot agree, because an election is coming up in four months and both sides are posturing for the election. republicans are the ones that are doing the most posturing here they are making this into an ideological football. host: let's go to florida. what is the name of your town? caller: we-- it is easier than it sounds. guest: it does not sound easy.
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caller: thank you for being here to explain this stuff. i have one point. democrats who have been advertising for this method of government have been saying just what you said. they used -- the talk about bill clinton's tax increase -- they talk about bill clinton's tax increase. the other fellow said the republicans in the congress -- everybody seems to forget that bill clinton took advantage of the peace dividend where he did commission tend visions of the army -- 10 divisions of the army, the navy went to over 300 ships. i suspect that all of you i believe, degree-holding governments, lawyers -- ivy
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league, degree-holding government and lawyers. the job you're trying to create -- it is not going to work. you have to move out of the way of private industry. host: governor? guest: the caller made a good local about military spending. the united states in non-war years spends about $800 million -- $800 billion on our military i wonder if the caller knows the second-highest country. china spends one's last 10 of what we spend. that is the largest -- the 1/dark -- if china spends 1/10 of what we spend.
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that is driving our economy. we are the policemen of the world, whether that is good or bad. i will leave that to another program. that would take hours to debate. that level of military spending is one of the reasons that our budget is so high. it is no question about that. but, ifsuggesting this, tomorrow, the troops were withdrawn from iraq and afghanistan, the overall government spending would go down dramatically. let me go back to what the caller said about government spending not creating any jobs. let me talk about infrastructure, because that was why i was asked to come on c- span. infrastructure spending does create jobs. every analyst who has looked at it says that directly and indirectly infrastructure spending -- money spent on building roads, repairing bridges -- it creates anywhere
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from 25,000 to 30,000 jobs for every $1 billion of spending. that is a direct impact. those are good paying jobs that will revive america's factories. our manufacturing is not dead. i agree that it is in trouble. if we went on a 10-year infrastructure revitalization program -- roads, bridges, highways, water, wastewater systems -- that would revive the american economy. the group that i belong to -- building america's futures -- i am one of the co-chairs. michael bloomberg, the mayor of new york, he is an independent. we all agree, many people agree, we have to prepare the american infrastructure. caller, we know that creates a direct, good-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced and that will help revive american manufacturing. host: we're talking with governor ed rendell, the 45th
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governor of pennsylvania. they have a $23.3 billion budget. the independent line. good morning. caller: i understand that when we went into iraq the oil was supposed to pay for that. i don't know why we are not upset about paying for it. the tea party is so upset with the spending. what does anything about the president have to do with spending? -- host: do you want to give us your thoughts on the tea party and what impact it will have on this november's election? guest: the caller is right that there is a great deal of hypocrisy about this spending debate. the republicans say we cannot pass extended unemployment
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benefits for the unemployed because it is not paid for. when it came to spending for the wars, they did not insist that it be paid for. when it comes to extending the bush tax cuts, they do not insist that it will be paid for. the caller is right. depends -- the tea party, the republicans, some blue dog democrats -- they tend to be very inconsistent about what they are willing to pay for and what is good and bad spending. that is a very good point. all of us -- the tea party years, independence, republicans, democrats, we should all think about that. if we are against spending, let's be against all spending across the board. that is number one. number two, the tea party will have a significant impact. when i say the tea party, i mean the movement of americans were angry about what is going on -- who are angry about what is going on.
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in an off-year election, elections are decided by turnout. right now, for progresses and democrats, but are less motivated, less excited. if that holds, we will not do well in november. my message to democrats who are is getng or independentbans out there and looked. -- and vote. you may not be 100% happy, but if you do not vote, the deeper years will have a tremendous impact and it will not be -- the iers will have a tremendous impact and i do not think it will be a good one. host: the democrats' strategy to preserve their house majority became clearer. can you put your democratic strategist hat on? you were the former dnc back in
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2000. what is your advice to the democrats who are running for conservative and liberal districts? how should they run their campaigns? guest: they should talk about the things i talked about. there have been some mistakes. their mistakes in any endeavor at any time -- and there are mistakes in any endeavor at any time. but there have been more good things then bad things. when the american people find out what is in the health care bill, they will be very happy. if you have a child with a pre- existing illness, as of september, before the election, your child has to be granted health care coverage because of the new health care reform bill. talk about those good things. when you broke down the elements of the health care bill, the american people like it very much. talk about the financial responsibility bill. we did something with very little republican help to ensure
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that we do not have another crisis like what we had that has brought us this terrible economy. that is a significant and very positive achievement. there are many things the stimulus has worked. it has not been perfect, but it has worked. there are good things to talk about. we should talk about republican insensitivity. they said the president was wrong and it started bp to get that $20 billion to help repay small businesses -- and exported -- exported -- extorted bp to get that $20 billion to help repay the gulf coast businesses. how about the republican party basically opposing the extension of unemployment compensation for americans? they said those unemployment benefits keep people from going to work.
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people just take the benefits and do not go to work. in pennsylvania, the average benefit is $370 per week. if any elected official things that you can raise a family of four and pay all your bills on that amount, it is obvious that they are out of touch. the democratic party is still the best vehicle for working americans to protect them, their families, and their future. that is the message we have to get through loud and clear. if we do that, november will be better than people think. host: president obama did sign into law that extension of unemployment benefits. republicans said that they were not against the benefits themselves, but that they wanted the benefits to be paid for. let's move on. eleanor on our democrat line. caller: good morning. guest: the republicans who said
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that were willing to vote for more money for the war without it being paid for and willing to extend the bush tax cuts on people making more than $250,000 without that being paid for. caller: good morning, governor. i was going in pennsylvania. my father bought a house in equinox in 1942. we moved there right after the big flood that got allot of the bridges and infrastructure. i watched a woman being rescued out of the top of the tree there. my uncle bill hauled milk at the time. we went out to see the devastation. when we move to equinox, the retaining wall to the bridge next to our house had been washed out. it was never replaced. now, with the flood two years
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ago, the bridge next to the house was washed away. there was a lot of an erosion. although i do not live there anymore, it is kind of sentimental to see that now. the state is, through eminent the main, going to take part of the yard and garden, to put in this big, i believe it is $5 million bridge. for that small community, it really does not require such a large expansion of the previous bridge. are bids submitted so that you can scale that back? guest: i do not know about that individual project. if your e-mail the folks at c- span and give me your address, i
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will find that information and get back to you. one of the things i am very proud of -- it is not politically fashionable to say that you spend money -- but as governor, i have tripled the spending on repairing pennsylvania's bridges. we have the most structurally- deficient bridges of any state in the country. we increased our spending almost fourfold. you have 1300 bridges under repair right now. that is helping generate a lot of economic growth and development, and jobs as well. that spending is good spending. let me give you an example of how spending can work to save money. this all happened before i was governor. this city had been prone to flooding because it is on the eastern branch of the susquehanna river. in the great floods of the 1950's and 1960's, it was almost wiped out. people got together to get
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federal and state money and spent nearly $200 million building up the levy to a significant height. in ivan and the three major storms that swept through pennsylvania, many towns were flooded. because of the money that was spent, there was not one drop of water that hit. the mayor estimated that we saved over $1 billion in damage from that $200 million of spending. if we ask the folks in cedar rapids and new orleans whether they wished they had spent money building up their levies, they would probably say they wished they did. there were billions of dollars of damages and loss of life in new orleans and in cedar rapids, because we did not spend the money repairing those levies and
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building that broad infrastructure. investment can save money, improve public safety, help our economic competitiveness. we have to do it. when jim inhofe and ed rendell agree on something like that, you know it has to be correct. host: pennsylvania, the republican line. guest: i live in washington crossing, pa.. when you talk about infrastructure, this is an iconic piece of america, which most americans are not aware is under the auspices of phmc. it has taken a 40% hit. there is a house bill that is about to give 27% of that park to a private entity. i belong to an organization that has gotten over 4000 signatures to not give away that part, and to keep the iconic 500 acres of
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the turning point of the revolution right here where some of america's first patriots died before the successful battle of trenton. we're all hoping that you will not allow this piece of american history to be given away. host: governor? guest: i have not seen that bill. we just finished our budget and we're now in the middle of a special session on transportation funding. i will take a strong look at it. i am with you. we should tread very lightly before giving away things that are part of our heritage. my inclination would be not to be for that bill. i will not prejudge it. the concept of that commission -- it is painful to me. pennsylvania has cut $3.5 billion of its budget in the last 20 months. for pennsylvanian who are angry
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about that -- for pennsylvanians were angry about that -- there is talk about wanting the deficit to be under control. we have to have a balanced budget. people are against spending until it is something they like. then they want us to spend money. you cannot win. we had to cut across the board. they were painful cuts. i urged the legislature to raise taxes. we do not tax cigars and smokeless tobacco. we get a vendor discounts for paying taxes on time. i said that is ludicrous. let's get rid of that discount. i wanted the sale to be taxed. it looks like it will be taxed. we could have produced over $350 million of additional revenue and would have been able to forestall a lot of those cuts. but i was not elected king. i always remind constituents
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that i have to reach agreements with the legislature. there were a lot of common-sense enhancements that or not agreed upon. walmart gets 01% discount for taking the sales tax that we pay them and remitting that on-time to harrisburg. isn't that ludicrous? that is one reason we have had to make cuts in things like our historic parks and museums. host: we have time for one last, quick phone call from texas on the independent line. can you make a quick? caller: i will try. governor, you and the republican party -- democrats are all the same. it is a party of one. the republicans want to send jobs overseas. democrats want to keep labor coming to the united states of america. that is why you all want the illegals here. i am saying illegals. you can understand the difference. -- cannot understand the
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difference. the american people have spoken out. the democrats are telling the american people to go to hell. thank you. guest: i cannot speak for all democrats. and pennsylvania, a supported enthusiastically -- in pennsylvania, i support enthusiastically a very tough bill against employers who some -- who employ illegals. that is the best remedy towards illegal immigration. host: governor ed rendell, pennsylvania, thank you for coming out and talking to us this morning. guest: thank you. it is never dull. host: we will move to the history of civil rights at the agriculture department with jerry hagstrom. first a news update. >> at 9:20 in the headlines -- congressman charles rangel who has spent half of his 80 years
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as a member of congress says he is looking forward to fighting ethics charges. other democrats are not pleased. the ethics trial saw by the new york -- sought will coincide with the campaign season. some two dozen families of soldiers killed in iraq and afghanistan -- 2000 families of soldiers and those killed in iraq and afghanistan will meet in the capital. it to beaver and largest gathering of families of fallen soldiers -- it will be the largest gathering of families of fallen soldiers. ford motor posted its fifth straight quarter of profits today. they have gained market share in the u.s. from toyota, which has been hurt by a series of recalls, and general motors and chrysler, who except the federal bailout money last year. the three republican senators who back the financial regulatory overhaul are urging president obama to not appoint a new consumer protection
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watchdog while congress is in recess. senators olympia snowe, susan collins, and scott brown called on the president yesterday to follow "regular order" in nominating someone to head the new consumer financial protection bureau. finally, president obama says he can relate to the plight of americans striving in the struggling economy to pay their bills while sitting for their kids' education and retirement. he says that he and president -- he and first lady michelle obama took a hit just like everyone else, telling abc that the college fund for his daughters as "got up and down with the stock market." those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. "washington journal" continues. host: coming up next -- we are talking about the history of civil rights issues at the agriculture department with the secretar.
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>> this was my decision it was a decision that i -- this was my decision. it was a decision that i regret having made in haste. you ask why. we have been focused on trying to address the longstanding issue of civil rights claims against the department. there are outstanding claims brought by black farmers, hispanic farmers from women farmers, and native american farmers. these are not just a few instances or isolated claims. there are tens of thousands of claims that have been brought against the department. host: jerry hagstrom is a contributing editor with "national journal." can you give our viewers and over all outline of what has been going on at the agricultural department when it comes to civil rights? guest: it is important to say that the problems go all the way back to the late 19th century. after the civil war, when blacks
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were freed, they began to acquire land, usually very small farms. they took the money from their wages and their sharecropping income and they were able to buy these small farms. at the same time, the agriculture department had been established in 1862 by president lincoln. in the late-19th century, they began to establish the land grant colleges to help agriculture throughout the country. in the early-20th-century, the engines in service provided service to farmers -- the extension service provided service to farmers to help them. in the south, the blacks were not allowed to go to the land grant colleges, so a separate report established. some of them have become very fine institutions, but they did not have the same institutions that the big land grant colleges did. the extension service was segregated. the black extension agent opened a black farmers did not have the same resources.
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-- the black extension agency did not have the same resources. when the roosevelt administration established the modern farm program with the subsidies -- there were controls on production. in order to set up that program, the roosevelt administration needed to know who was actually a former. -- farmer. they had no staff to do this period is set up committees -- the had no staff to do this. they set up committees. those committees established to was a farmer. hired a staff through the local offices -- they hired staff through the local offices. those committees were invariably composed of white men, often conservative, and sometimes they denied service to black farmers, hispanic farmers, native american farmers, and women
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farmers. that is why there are lawsuits against the usda. host: we're talking with jerry hagstrom about minorities in the usda. there is that situation with shirley sharrod. you have seen those i discussions going on. agriculture secretary said he was sorry for firing her and has asked her to come back. the discussion is about the history. that is what the secretary talked about when he issued the apology. he said the outcome of this has been these lawsuits. breakdown those lawsuits individually and where do they stand as far as payment? guest: there have been five lawsuits. there is an initial lawsuit known as pigord 1 -- pigford 1, settled when the clinton
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administration was in power. it has paid out over $1 billion, usually in amounts of about $55,000. there were black farmers who said they did not get the chance to file suit on time. in congress, in 2008, they allow these people to file again. the payment on that is currently pending, because the farm bill only included $100 billion -- $100 million for it and you need another 1.1 $5 billion to pay that off. -- $1.15 billion to pay that off. as that in the bill. senate is debating whether to include that. host: the senate rejected additional spending on the war supplemental. guest: i guess it is out again. this is an example of the problem that happens with civil
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rights issues at usda. it is a drag on and on. they rarely get settled. the other suits are all in different status. the usda is negotiating with native american farmers. as a class-action lawsuit. they're engaged in negotiations, along with the justice department, on the women's suit and the hispanic farmers suit. host: these payments average in the range of billions or millions? guest: we not know yet. most payments were $50,000 for those individuals, but there were some that were considerably larger. the dependent on what the farmer was willing to except for what they could prove -- it depended on what the farmers were willing to accept or what they could prove. host: we will do this
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regionally. you can start dialing in depending on where you are in the country. we want to show our viewers the farms and the united states according to 2007 statistics. total forms are about 2.2 million. total farms -- total farms are about 2.2 million. total farms operated by white farmers, 2.1 million. total farms operated by african- american -- 30,000. have these numbers changed since then? guest: i do not think we have any more recent data on that. for perspective, in 1920, there were 925,000 black farmers. a lot of the black farmers maintain that, because they did not get a proper assistance from the agricultural department, technical assistance and the loans that were sometimes crucial when there had been a bad crop or a terrible weather
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problem, that they ended up going in and out of farming. of course, blacks, like whites, have left the farm. the number of farms has decreased dramatically. some of that is just the natural progression with mechanization and the movement to the city. still, there is a special issue here with what happened to the black farmers. host: our first call is from jacksonville, florida. good morning. caller: thank you. in 1999, the department of agriculture paid black farmers over $13 million to settle these claims. mrs. sharrod and her husband collected three and a thousand dollars between them. my parents -- $300,000 between them. my parents -- grandparents were sharecroppers. i had cancer and uncles and cousins who lost their land --
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aunts and uncles and cousins had tot tehheir land and move on to other things. they could not get through to california. no one has ever asked them about their bank foreclosure. he also talked about the acres of lands that are owned by white form deep -- white people. brazilians, germans -- most farmland is owned by foreign nations. host: there is a lot there. can you address that? guest: i have to correct the caller's statement that most farmland is owned by foreigners. that just is not true. almost all the farmland in the united states is owned by americans. a very small percentage is owned by foreigners. there are some agribusiness
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companies owned by foreigners. that is part of globalization. in terms of her ancestors, i would agree that there are terrible tragedies associated with that period. still, there were and have been proven cases of these farmers not getting the assistance from usda that the white farmers did. in some cases, the record has shown that whites were able to buy the land because the blacks have to go out of business because they could not get loans. host: there have been recent complaints about discrimination. in one letter, the ever altered a parental complaints system alone is more than 14,000 implants -- the agriculture department complaint system alone has more than 4000 complaints -- 14,000 complaints
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filed since the year 2000. guest: with the employment of employees within that department -- there is a separate issue. secretary bills that has tried to address that issue -- vilsack has tried to address that issue. these cases are old. the statute of limitations has run out. there would have to be an act of congress to take them up. there are a range of problems. usda has started a lot of efforts to try to overcome these problems. for example, in recent years, there has been an effort to get minorities and women to run for these county committees, so that they're not just white men in these positions of power. also, within the agriculture department, there has been a
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strong attempt to employ people of minorities, women, and to let them rise within the organization, not just be in low-level jobs. >> glad water, texas -- gladewater, texas. sorry. what is your question or comment? caller: you did a really good outline of some of the problems happening back in those days, but you left out the grandfather clause. do you remember that? guest: i do not. please refresh me. i am a reporter, not a historian. caller: it is stated that if you were not a natural-going citizen or if you were african- american, you could only -- after they got through with the grandfather clause, they hit us
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with -- i forgot what it was -- but under that clause, people lost their money. under the economic -- the holdout that they had -- you were asking about how many new farmers there were since 2007. 32,500. hella -- host: caller from california. caller: we have discrimination. i do not like the money that the government gives to subsidize farmers. i did not know whether it is going on, but i believe it is. it is very large amounts. they're not turning up the cross. look at what we have coming into stores -- coming from ecuador, coming from everywhere else. where are the crops coming from? why not from the united states? host: can you talk about subsidies to farmers? guest: the subsidies still go
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on. the level of subsidies at the present time is much lower than it was 10 years ago, because commodity prices have increased. the payments that are made to farmers have gone down dramatically. in terms of the products coming in from other countries, it is true that we export a lot. we import a lot. productslking about coming in from ecuador. i would say that is probably largely -- first of all, it may be bananas, which we do not grow here, except in very small amounts in hawaii. secondly, americans have developed a taste for fresh vegetables and fruits in the off-season, when they're not really grown here. we import them from countries where they are grown in that season. host: the next call is from south carolina. good morning. caller: good morning and thank you for c-span.
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i like to piggyback this on previous callers. many of the problems at the department of agriculture -- how much of that can really be attributed to the illegal taking of black land, particularly in the south? guest: there is no way to quantify what you are talking about. of course there was never that much land owned by black people. i think the highest figure i have seen has been about 15 million acres. at the present time, it is about 7 million acres. if someone has better figures than that, i am interested. that was the best i could find. the question of black land loss is very complicated, because, as blacks moved to the cities and people moved -- to stop farming, the land often came into the
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hands of heirs, a large number of them. black farmers could not get the kind of help that white farmers got. therefore, they were under pressure to sell their land. i cannot quantify the issue. host: san diego. caller: does he really believed it is more about the land that was received or imported versus exported? america has put all their late -- all their eggs in one basket. guest: the vast majority of food in this country is still grown in this country. that is true of every country in the world. we talk about agricultural
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exports and imports, but it is still basically domestic production. it is definitely true that, in some cases, we are importing more than we used to. for example, asparagus. we're importing a lot of despair is from peru and chile -- of asparagus from peru and chile. there are some growers who have gone out of business because they find it difficult to compete with the imports. most of the food you get is from the united states. it may not look like that at the fruit and vegetable section. host: for lauderdale, florida. -- fort lauderdale, florida. caller: i have a little cold, so forgive me. my grandfather had a 15-acre cotton field. he lost it because the bank would not give him alone -- a loan.
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he lost everything. my mother tried to help them out. they lost everything. a farmer or any average person -- how do you expect a farmer or any average person to make it when the banks or so tight that they will not help you -- they will watch you lose it, keep the land, and try to resell it. the market value is down so much they cannot do anything with it and they are responsible for the taxes. host: mr. hagstrom. guest: i cannot speak to the individual case. i do not know when that took place. a lot of these problems arise in a period of low prices, bad weather conditions. the farmer who does not have capital cannot handle the problem. that is why these programs were set up. this program at the agriculture
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department is supposed to be the lender of last resort. that is why there are so many problems. they're supposed to help the farmers who have the most problems. by lender of last resort, it means those who could not get a loan at the bank. yeah, of course, you're not going to have quite as good a performance on those loans, because you are helping the poor -- you're helping the people with the most troubles. host: are more farmers turning to that solution than previously? guest: the khyber will -- the biggert virtual -- the agriculture department now guarantees loans at the bank's. the banks are insisting on more and more loan guarantees from usda. the program has become fully says -- fully-subscribed. they have to ask for additional funds.
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host: how much is the funding? guest: i cannot tell you that. caller: a good morning. guest: good morning. good to talk to you. alabama i have a question -- caller >> i have a question -- caller: what has ever been done to sort of -- what has been done to penalize some of these officials? gary grant, president of the black farmers and agriculture association, said that, given that there have been levels of discrimination against black farmers, nothing was ever done to penalize the all-white officials bent on destroying the society of black farmers across
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the nation -- not one firing, not one charge brought, not one pension lost. host: he brings up -- mr. hagstrom? guest: he brings up a very interesting point. shirley raised that point that she was forced to resign. as far as i know, no one else was forced to resign, but there have been people forced into retirement. it is not as though nothing has happened, but the general practice at usda has been to try to do better in the future than to punish the people who were involved in these problems. and then, of course, the fact that usda is encouraging minorities and women and lower- income farmers to run for the county committee positions means that it is not so easy today for the established farmers to get
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on these committees as it once was. host: kathleen? good morning. caller: we have a lot of farmers. they are hardworking people. all of the family members are out there working the fields. why is it that some people -- some farmers think they should get any type of help when they don't produce or work the fields correctly? host: she is talking about the comfort -- conservation program? guest: on the question of why farmers would get help when they do not produce -- we have a program called the conservation reserve program. the marginal land is better kept out the production -- out of production, because it may be
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hilly, near water, it is just not good for farming. if you start using ar machines on that land -- farm machines, on that land, you're likely to have a variety of problems. the issue with farmland is that somebody owns it and has to pay taxes on it. it needs to be tended, otherwise it will grow into weesd. -- weeds. the neighbors will complain. this is one reason there is a role in the government for helping the farmers avoid the planting on that land. , you may recall that we were exporting a lot to the soviet union and the middle eastern countries. the government was encouraging more production. land that had never been put into production was put into
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production and the export market fell apart. we had low prices and a whole other set of problems. host: roswell, georgia. desk -- caller: i was doing some family research. my grandparents had bought land -- 18 acres of land in 1930 something -- 1934. they had to put up a bond -- a form that they had inherited, free and clear -- a farm that they had inherited, free and clear, from their father. they had put up a 60-acre farm to buy this land that was worth $600. should not be 18 acres they bought have been the collateral against the property they were trying to buy? host: how did that usually work, jerry hagstrom?
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guest: since they had not yet paid for the 18 acres, i doubt that it could be considered collateral for the loan. if there was a problem, it would have gone back to the previous landowner. i can see why the bank would want other collateral, but it seems rather outrageous to put up 600 acres to take out a loan to buy 18 acres. i am sure that there were a racist actions by banks back in -- outrageous actions by banks back in that time. caller: i work with the very old black gentleman who tells me how his grandfather owned a farm on the eastern shore. but when one of his sons ran off with a caucasian woman and got married and they left, some
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not, after owning this farm for quite a long time, somehow, it got taken away. all of his four men -- foremen got killed. i'm glad this is happening. it brings to let the injustice thethe past -- to light injustice of the past which can be rectified or at least talked about and acknowledged. host: their right this -- they write that there is an uplifting story at the heart of this fracas. moving on to dayton, ohio. good morning.
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caller: good morning. this reporter does not seem to know much about the farmers. we need somebody who will represent what really happened to the black farmers. when it comes to the black farmers, there were a lot of black farmers who lost their farms because of mistreatment. if he wants to do a story, he should just give it over. that is what needs to be known -- how they were treated and how they lost their farms. host: of do you want to weigh in? guest: i consider him a good source of information. i have interviewed him a number of times. there were 925,000 black farmers in the 1920's.
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i am not saying there were a smaller number than there were. that is what the census statistics show. host: in 2007, they show that there are now 30,599. another caller has said it is around 32,000. white farmers are around 1.1 million. -- 2.1 million. indianapolis, carl. caller: i am a small-time growers to produce. i want to comment on this black armor situation. i want to mention that the quality of produce that we get from foreign countries is pour. -- poor. it is shipped a long way. and not know what kind of pesticides were used. -- you do not know what kind of pesticides were used.
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you cannot get california grapes even. host: mr. hagstrom? guest: the caller brings up a big issue -- the question of consuming locally-grown foods compared to those that have traveled a great distance. the usda is trying to help local farmers. over the last 40 years in this country, we have developed a system of industrial agriculture which emphasizes the production at the most efficient levels. grow -- a lot of produce comes from california. there has been a the emphasis on production in other parts of the country. they are trying to encourage more local production again. host: houston, tommy. good morning. what is your question or comment? caller: i want to thank you for
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the history you have given. especially with the land grant colleges. i attended per view a&m -- purdue new mexico university -- preview -- prairie view a&m. he was talking about abraham lincoln and how that got set up with the land grant colleges. host: do you want to repeat that for people who are just tuning in? guest: in the latter part of the 19th century, congress passed laws to establish land grant colleges in each of the 50 -- there were not 50 states -- in each state. they set up these schools. today, they often do not have the same names that they did.
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in my native state of north dakota, it was the north dakota agricultural college. these land grant colleges are still there and they still do agricultural research. in the southern states, where blacks could not go to those schools, congress, in 1890, established another set of schools which are known as the 1890 colleges and universities. they still exist. they have been a primary source for the education of african- americans over the decades. they're still very prominent today. host: cecilia, ky. raymond. pollard and a good morning. thank you for c-span. i have a question and comment. i'm getting tired of us taxpayers supporting all of these farmers to grow crops. i can understand doing it, but
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the reason i am getting tired -- i will not give you an example. nothing is ever done about it. within 1 mile of me -- i live out of town about 6 miles. within 1 mile of me, this farmer has taken advantage of every one of those programs over the years. he is still taking advantage of them. just recently, the city stretched the limits out and bought his property. i don't know figures, but somewhere around $4 million. they gave him $45,000 -- $145,000 -- former and $45,000. 000.- $445, host: there have been a lot of things about the subsidies.
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where do they stand right now. -- stand right now? congress is working on another farm bill. guest: the farmer was charming and got subsidies. he has now sold land to the city -- farming and got subsidies. a lot of farmers make money by selling their land or houses. -- for houses. your last crop is houses. it seems unfair, but there isn't much you can do about it. when he was farming -- i do not know the conditions and whether or not he needed the subsidies, but i have to admit it seems unfair to get those subsidies for all of those years and then to make a killing on selling the
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land. it would be good for that person to give something back to the government or the community. caller: mr. hagstrom, i was listening to the lady who said she was against these subsidies. could you explain what the results would be if we did not pay these subsidies and how are few -- food process would cost more? guest: we do not really know what would happen without the subsidies. i have traveled in brazil, argentina -- they do not have the same types of programs that we do. they still have the food production. but the farms are in the hands of a far fewer number of people. they become really megagarms -- mega-farms, with a lot of people working on the land, rather than
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owning the land. host: a couple more phone calls. one from illinois. color >> i am sure these things happened to these farmers. -- caller: i am sure these things happen to these farmers. life is a matter of experience. i grew up in a dairy farm. in the 1980's -- nobody remembers former aide -- farm aid. it had to do with interest rates. i understand everybody has hard times. these things do happen. economics is just as big a thing for farmers as anything else. host: we're going to new york. our last phone call. caller: is there footage of the gentlemen in the early 2000's
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who control loans to the farmers? he was being interviewed and asked, what did you do after -- he said, i threw them in the wastebasket, or he said something like that. i suppose he is now retired and on the pension, which is not fair. he does not deserve that pension. i would like for someone to show that footage so the people in this country would realize -- a lot of people are not aware of what has been going on and is still happening. guest: i do not know about that footage. i have heard the story. if anybody wants to see some footage, go to the naacp web site and look at the full tape of miss sherrod. see it in its fullness, not just the snippet that caused the
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furor. it is the real story of a woman who, as she put it, the white man came to see her while she was working for a group helping black farmers -- she did not help him totally at the beginning. she helped him some. later, she sent him to a white lawyer who did not help him. he called her back. she was the one who intervened and helped him save his farm. you have seen him on television saying this is a good lady who really helped. it is such a tragedy that she was fired under these circumstances. it is so good that the secretary has apologized and president obama has called her. it is a real racial drama in the united states. host: from your coverage of the usda,


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